Archive for 2015

After I visited LFM, I got bad traffic on the way back to Bandung, As usual, there is always a story not only in my travel experience but even in every path of my life. Haha. So, that traffic situation made my friend who drove our car felt tired. So, we decided to have one night stay at one of the hotels along the roadside of Lembang and it meant that was so sudden!

We tried to call every hotel that we passed by during our way back to Bandung (fyi, I am Jakartan, and to reach Lembang, we have to go to Bandung first and also the vice versa). Almost all the hotels were full until we finally found a simple hotel there!

Another story is about the hotel itself which was that was my first time experienced the "most luxurious" hotel breakfast in my life. :)) But however, the bread was so yummy. I mean really! :)
Breakfast from Hotel
In the next day, I visited Kampung Daun. That was a restaurant with very unique view which was surrounded by a lot of trees and plants.

That's why the name is Kampung Daun which means The Village of Leaves. The view was very nice, the weather was so fresh and the food was so good.

Actually we arrived too early. Kampung Daun opens from 11.00 am. So when we arrived, their employees still clean up the place. And the funny thing was their floor material was from stone and everybody will defenetely step on the floor with so much dust, but they cleaned it so carefully
with water and floor soap.

After from Kampung Daun, we were back to Bandung so we can went home to Jakarta. In Bandung, we bought some snacks as our gift and then back to Jakarta.

That was so much fun in Lembang. I think this would be my last trip in 2015. See you in 2016!
Yeay! Today I share my story during my trip to Lembang on 16-17 August 2015. Actually I have ever visited Lembang for several times. Yet, just now I had a chance to share a story about this fresh peak in Bandung area.

In the first day, I visited a famous recreational place in Lembang which is Lembang Floating Market. According to its name, there is floating market at LFM. The view was nice and looked so fresh as you can see on the photo below. LFM was so crowded at that time.

Parody Chocolate at LFM Souvenir Store
See the picture above. Those are various chocolates that you can find at LFM souvenir store. I decided to take a picture of it and bought one of them because the chocolate label is so funny. It was taken from a parody of one of celebrity issues in Indonesia.

This story hasn't done yet. Let's continue to Lembang Trip (Part 2)!

This year, I surely need a vacation as I've been through a tough year last year. So, the nearest and fastest getaway option that I can choose is going to Kepulauan Seribu, exactly at Pulau Pari.
Pulau Pari
There is an interesting story behind this short getaway. For me, this is a surprising getaway, because; the first reason is this trip suddenly happened without plan. In the beginning of April, I just randomly asked my friend; what if we go to Pulau, and surprisingly we made it in the same month we discuss it. The second reason is in the beginning we talked about this getaway, I invited 3 people. Another surprise was from those 3 people, it bloomed into 15 people. It happened because those 2 of 3 people invited their friends, and their friends invited their friends (so it's like friends after friends after friends). I thought they are so easy going because they easly can join this sudden trip.
I can't swim but everytime I go to sea, I try to always try any water sport/game that provided, such as banana boat at Pantai Anyer, snorkeling at Pulau Tidung and I did it again at Pulau Pari. I know we will be floating by wearing life vest, but I can't balance my body on the water, so there will be a person who hold me during snorkeling. 

See the dark cloud on this photo? Yes, this became my first time experience getting rainfall while I was at the sea. ;) Fortunately, the rain fell after we already did snorkeling, during our way back to homestay. So, the rain fell while we were still in the canoe and on the sea. Just like The Notebook movie. Isn't it so romantic? But, the difference is this happened towards 17 people in the canoe. :))

Waiting for sunrise
Pantai Perawan inside Pulau Pari
Knowing about ecology in Lembaga Oceanografi LIPI inside Pulau Pari
Same as Pulau Tidung, Pulau Pari now is already crowded. There are a lot of visitors. But, it's still okay if you (Jakartans) would like to try to visit Pari just for short (or sudden) getaway.

According to its name, there are still a lot of islands in Kepulauan Seribu that we can visit. Even there are some luxury private islands. Hopefully someday I can visit them one by one. :) Waiting for your feedback regarding this island! What island in Kepulauan Seribu have you visited?
I rent a car to take us touring in Malang city during my trip overthere in 2013. I choose Eagle Rent Car and I felt satisfy with the service. The driver was so soft spoken and helpful. Their website also looks so professional;

The rent cost already included the fuel and driver fee. I rent it only for two days, because in the third day, I met my friend who took us touring the city. 

What travel website/online agency you ever use for your travel needs?
As we already know that nowadays we can get lower cost regarding the travel accomodation by book it in online travel agency, because they often offer us various promotions. One of the online travel agencies that I ever use is Agoda. It was when I booked Menara Peninsula Hotel, Jakarta, in 2014. I got 31% off from Agoda.

Image: google plus
If you ask me, is it Agoda recommended? The answer is yes, because the website is user-friendly and the service is good.

I trust AirAsia as my flight during my trip to Yogyakarta in 2012.

Why I choose AirAsia? Because seeing their track records, although it's low-cost but I think so far we can claim AirAsia as one of the safest flights, and I did not experience the delay matter. But, do not expect that you will get a kind of high-end flight service in the plan. Yet, for me, it's ok because it's equal with the cost. Will I book AirAsia again? Of course. :))
Unfortunately, in 2014, I didn't do any trip whereas I suffered from severe depression. So, I choose to pamper myself by having a stay in local hotel, I meant at least I did something to please myself. And I choose 4-star-rated hotel in Jakarta, Menara Peninsula Hotel.

Overall, the service is quite good. But Menara Peninsula is an old hotel, so the interior looks quite old. 
Still in the first day in Malang, we spent our evening at Batu Night Spectacular (BNS). BNS is just like night market festival. There are playgrounds, games, shopping center and food court. At the time we visited BNS, there were also Lantern Festival, and that was so beautiful. We captured so many big and colorful lantern as you can see on the photo below.
My friend in front of the gate of the Lantern Festival

I feel really grateful to be in Malang and Batu. Besides visiting the recreation place, I also have a friend who live in Malang. So, I called her and we met in the second day we were there. She accompanied us to going around the city by car and took us to some favorite restaurant in the city. 

Flower Carnival
What a blessed trip! In the last day of my trip in Malang, there were Flower Carnival event, and that was the first time held in Malang! We didn't know about the event at all. It was really coincidental that we were there when the carnival was held. Really thank God for this 'bonus', so I have an additional story to tell. This Flower Carnival is really fun. The carnival participant wore very unique flowers costume as you can see on the photo above.

After reading all my Malang - Batu Trip article, are you willing to go there? ;)

Still in the first day in Malang, we went to Batu in the afternoon to visit Jatim Park 2 and Batu Night Spectacular which I will tell the story about Batu Night Spectacular in the part 3 of this Malang - Batu Trip article.  

Here We were Ready to Enter Jatim Park 2

In Front of Jatim Park 2

View from Jatim Park 2
Seal Show
White Tiger
The concept of this zoo is similar with Taman Safari (Bogor). I personally felt so refreshed to be close to the nature. Ok, now let's go to the Part 3 of this article when we spent our night at Batu Night Spectacular!
Two years ago, I choose Malang and Batu as my holiday trip and I experienced many new things at that time. The first thing is I never go anywhere by train because I always choose bus as my public transportation in Jakarta. So, this was my first time going somewhere by train, and as the first time, my way on train from Senen Station, Jakarta to Malang in East Java was 18 hours! And 20 hours during the way back to Jakarta! Geez.. :)) The next "survival" was the train was economy class. So, the seats on the train were very upright. Can you imagine how it feels; sitting on very upright seat in 18-20 hours? Yeah, I know If you could, you won't do that. Moreover I got my period during back to Jakarta. Oh, geez.. What a remarkable experience!

Malang Station
Malang Town Hall

One of  Chatolic Churches in Malang, Katolik Kathedral Santa Perawan Maria dari Gunung Karmel

We rent a car from Eagle Rental Car as our transportation during our trip in Malang and Batu. Before I continue my story, I would like to briefly explain you what is Batu? Batu is a city located in East Java Province of Indonesia. It is situated about 20 km to the northwest of Malang. For me, Batu is like the peak side of Malang, such as Puncak in Bogor and Lembang in Bandung.

In Malang, I stayed at 3 stars-rated guest house, Merbabu. After we put down our luggage in the guest house, we had lunch in a restaurant near the guest house. Then, we visited the most famous and legendary ice cream cafe in the city, Toke Oen. On the photo below, I ordered the left one and it was so yummy! Some people said; you actually didn't come to Malang if you didn't visit Toko Oen. So, you should go there if you come to Malang.

Merbabu Guest House

Toko Oen Ice Cream Cafe

After enjoyed Toko Oen's ice cream, we went back to homestay to take a bath and prepared to go to Batu. We would like to go to some recreation place in Batu, such as Jatim Park 2 and Batu Night Festival. At Jatim Park 2, there were Batu Secret Zoo, Museum Satwa (wildlife museum), a little "dunia fantasi/disneyland" such as various games like coaster, water park, and many more, while Batu Night Spectacular is like a little "dunia fantasi/disneyland" and "pasar malam (night market)" at night.

Jatim Park 2 - Batu
Well, now let's go to the second part of this article to read my story about Jatim Park 2 and Batu Night Spectacular!
Indonesia is really a country with the largest island in the world, because even in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, also has island. The island is in Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) regency. It consists of a string of around 110 islands.

Pulau Tidung
The first island of Kepulauan Seribu that I visited is Pulau Tidung (Tidung Island) in October 2012. I went there with my office-mate as our outing activity. We departed from Muara Angke in North Jakarta by timber ship. Around 2 hours on the way, then we arrived at Tidung Island.

Jembatan Cinta at Pulau Tidung
The Corals
I can't swim, but everytime I go to the sea, I will try any kind of water sport that provided. I do that because I think it's too bad if I go to the sea and don't experience something new and fun. I played banana boat on my vacation at Anyer beach during my high school farewell outing, and I did snorkeling during my outing at Pulau Tidung. Honestly I was freaking out when I should jump to the sea from the ship to start snorkeling but finally I did it, and it was sooo fun!

My Friend Held My Hands when I was Snorkeling
My Friends and Other Tidung Visitors were Snorkeling
After snorkeling, we traveled the beach by bike. We passed through the coastal forest to the seaside at the side where we can see sunset. And, this was so amazing, not because the beauty of the sunset, but the energy that I had to pull out when riding the bike on the sands! Haha. Even some of my friends fell down from their bikes. And also, don't imagine that the bike is sport/mountain bike. The bike is only traditional bike (with the basket in front of the bike) and the bike condition was not in very good maintainance. That's why we needed more power when riding it. What an experience!

The Seaside after the Coastal Forest
In the evening, we enjoyed bonfire, BBQ and we played games.

This kind of instant vacation is a very good choice for weekend gateaway for Jakartans. So, the entertaiment selection in Jakarta is not only always about mall, cafe and restaurant, right?